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Ireland Women will face England in a November international next month

The Six Nations champions have named a 33-strong squad and will host an open training session this weekend.

IRELAND WOMEN’S HEAD coach Tom Tierney has named 14 uncapped players in his squad for the new 15-a-side international season.

Elise O'Byrne White knocks the ball on Elise O'Byrne White is officially uncapped, but played in a Six Nations warm-up against Wales this year. Source: Colm O'Neill/INPHO

The reigning Six Nations Champions will get a rare opportunity to pitch up for intense competition outside of a tournament window as they will face England on 14 November at the Twickenham Stoop.

Erin Caughey with Mairead Hopkins at the end of their game Ulster's Erin Caughey greets Mairead Hopkins after an inter-pro clash last year. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

With 33 in the squad as a whole, 14 untested faces represent another considerable turnover from year to year in Tierney’s squad.

Laura O'Mahony and Ger Rea tackle Grainne Egan Grainne Egan tackled while in action for Connacht against Munster. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

However, among the new batch are Sevens international Nikki Caughey and most of the uncapped players have been tested a high level grades of domestic rugby.

Cliodhna Moloney and Danielle Morgan Cliodhna Moloney in action for Railway Union. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“It’s a very exciting time for Women’s rugby in Ireland,” says Tierney.

“We are coming in to the new season on the back of a 6 Nations win and with that comes great expectation. We have a number of new faces in the squad which is a testament to the popularity of women’s rugby throughout the country.”

The squad will gather in Belfast this week and will host an open training session in Ulster’s Kingspan Stadium at 14.30 this Saturday (10 October). Tickets for the session are free and can be obtained through the ticket office at the venue, ticketmaster.ie or by phoning 028 9049 3222 (Option 2).

Ireland Women’s squad for Belfast training sessions:

Elaine Anthony (Highfield/ Munster)*
Gillian Bourke (Wasps/ Exiles)
Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemian/ Munster)
Hannah Casey (Saracens/ Exiles)
Nikki Caughey (Belfast Harlequins/ Ulster)*
Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/ Leinster)*
Mairead Coyne (Galwegians/ Connacht)*
Kerrie Ann Craddock (Saracens/ Exiles)
Jeamie Deacon (Blackrock/ Leinster)*
Aine Donnelly (Cill Dara/ Leinster)*
Grainne Egan (St Marys/ Connacht)*
Ailis Egan (Old Belvidere/ Leinster)
Paula Fitzpatrick (Stade Toulousain)
Orla Fitzsimons (St Marys/ Leinster)
Zoe Garttage (Tralee/ Munster)*
Mary Healy (Galwegian/ Connacht)
Mairead Hopkins (Castlebar/ Ballina/ Connacht)*
Sharon Lynch (Old Belvidere/ Leinster)
Claire McLaughlin (Queens/ Ulster)*
Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/ Leinster)*
Larissa Muldoon (Skewen RFC/ Exiles)
Edel Murphy (UL Bohemian/Munster)*
Sene Naoupu (Galwegians/ Sevens)
Katie Norris (Blackrock/ Leinster)
Heather O’Brien (Stade Toulousain)
Fiona O’Brien (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
Elise O’Byrne White (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)*
Ruth O’Reilly (Galwegians/ Connacht)
Ciara O’Connor (Galwegians/ Connacht)*
Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
Jackie Shiels (Richmond/Exiles)
Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)

* denotes an uncapped player at international 15-a-side level

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Sean Farrell

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